Jon Steingard, the frontman of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, has told fans that he “no longer believes in God” in a lengthy Instagram post about his faith.
The Canadian musician joined the Ontario band in 2004, and has been a part of the group’s last seven studio albums — the most recent being 2018’s ‘Miracles’.
Steingard addressed his faith in an Instagram post last week, writing in the caption that he’d been “terrified” at the prospect of penning the statement.
“But it feels like it’s time for me to be honest,” he wrote. “I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning. I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. I want to be transparent with you all – and also open to having my heart changed in the future.”
In the post itself, Steingard reflected on his Christian upbringing and “having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life” before saying: “I am now finding that I no longer believe in God.”
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I’ve been terrified to post this for a while – but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest. I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning. I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. I want to be transparent with you all – and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all – just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all.
“I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically — but it wouldn’t be as true,” Steingard continued. “The process of getting to that sentence has been several years in the making.”
In regards to his fronting Hawk Nelson, Steingard wrote: “If you’re someone who follows me because of Hawk Nelson, and my involvement in Christian music, you are probably thinking, ‘Wait — were you lying to me the whole time? Were you just pretending to be a Christian? What about all those songs you wrote? Did you mean those?’
“The short answer is that I was not lying. I did believe those things at the time. I may have been pulling on the threads of the sweater, but there was still some sweater left back then.”
Steingard also suggested that he will be leaving Hawk Nelson in the future. “While I know I can no longer stand on stage and in good conscience sing songs like ‘Drops in the Ocean’, I no longer fear losing my place in Christian music. I know this means giving it up voluntarily.”
The frontman later added: “I’m open to the idea that God is there. I’d prefer if he was. I suspect if he is there, he is very different than what I was taught.”